Governor Cuomo Unveils Design for Rainbow Light-Filled Monument to the LGBTQ Community

Just in time for New York City’s Pride weekend and parade, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the design for an official monument honoring the LGBTQ community yesterday. The monument, by New York-based artist and photographer Anthony Goicolea, will be situated on the edge of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village in the waterfront Hudson River Park.

According to a statement from Cuomo’s office, the monument will honor those lost in the tragic Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting a year ago, as well as “all victims of hate, intolerance and violence.”

Goicolea’s design features nine modified boulders, several of which are bisected with clear, laminated, borosilicate glass. The glass’s refractory components “act as a prism to create subtle rainbow patterns on the surrounding lawn and nearby objects,” according to the statement from the governor’s office.

Anthony Goicolea's design for a new monument honoring the LGBTQ community in New York CIty's Hudson River Park. Courtesy the artist and the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Anthony Goicolea’s design for a new monument honoring the LGBTQ community in New York CIty’s Hudson River Park. Courtesy the artist and the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo established the LGBT Memorial Commission last June, in the wake of the Orlando shooting. In October 2016, the commission solicited proposals for a monument to honor the LGBTQ community. Submissions were judged on their interpretation of the theme, creativity, artistic composition, and site compatibility, among other factors.

Goicolea, the American-Cuban photographer and multi-media artist behind the winning design, is best known for his self-portraits, which explore themes of sexuality and identity. Born in 1971 in Atlanta, Goicolea attended the University of Georgia and the Pratt Institute of Art in Brooklyn.

The artist said the monument will serve as a communal space “filled with light, color, and hope where the visitors can sit, mourn, love, and remember for years to come.”

Calling Goicolea’s design “stunning,” Cuomo said it complements the park landscape and “communicates a timeless message of inclusion, and . . .will serve as an enduring symbol of the role New Yorkers play in building a fairer, more just world.”

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